Young Justice Episode 20 Coldhearted
It’s Wally’s 16th birthday and he’s excited to enjoy the day. After a huge breakfast and the great news that school is cancelled due to a snow day, he heads to The Cave for the surprise party The Team has planned for hm. After a brief celebration that does more to damper his spirits than enhance them due to being denied a kiss from Miss Martian and then having it explained that she is in a relationship with Superboy, the Team is called into action by Batman.
The Team will be teaming up with the League to take down machines creating an ice storm across the entire country. Wally is beside himself with excitement until Batman informs him that he will be on a solo mission to deliver a heart for transfer to a young girl at a hospital on the other side of the US. Disappointed but having no choice Wally sets out to get the heart there in time.
Along the way he runs into Vandal Savage and becomes entwined in a plot by Count Vertigo to prevent the transfer from taking place. The young girl is his niece and her death means his ascension to the throne of Vlatava. After being duped into thinking he failed in his mission, Wally manages to stop the attempt on Queen Perdita’s life and get Vertigo arrested. He learns about the importance of being a hero and has a new appreciation for the responsibility he holds.
This was essentially a Wally-centric episode. Right how he’s almost a hate him or love him character to a lot of people, so it was good that the show gave him a chance to shine and grow a bit. I actually enjoyed this episode more than last weeks. The moments that show the Team outside of duty are always welcome and it was funny to see them interact and acknowledge someone’s birthday even though they deal with such spectacular situations constantly. Even more so it’s amusing and charming to see Wally so excited about a snow day and birthday when he has frequent conversations with Batman!
The highlight of this episode however was the moment when Kid Flash is told that he hasn’t made it in time and that the girl has died. The scene is incredibly powerful and although I didn’t expect the girl to actually have passed, I almost hoped that they had explored that option. As I am familiar with the storyline of Vertigo trying to steal the throne in the comics, YJ would’ve been the perfect time to establish a separate universe in which he actually succeeds in getting rid of Perdita and how deeply that could affect a young hero.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that Wally may have the biggest disadvantage of all the characters in how he connects to the audience since he’s the only one we’ve seen in animation recently. He was the Flash used in the DCAU, appeared in Teen Titans, and, until recently, in the DC animated movies. Sure Dick Grayson appeared in BTAS and The Batman, but he never appeared in the later DCAU shows and the latter wasn’t the flagship show. Moreover, Grayson’s character and relationship with other heroes changes as he grows much more than West’s. We simply have more versions of Wally to compare. He was a favorite of mine in JL and I loved the moments he got to shine and show how serious and dependable he could really be. These episodes often ended up being highlights of the series to me.
That being said, Wally has had as many chances as any character to be showcased thus far and I haven’t yet had reason to really grasps onto his story. This episode changed that. The growth experienced here is what will make him into the Flash that fans know and love. The hero who gets what being a hero is all about.
• Yes, the arctic stealth suits were pretty B.A. to me. I do wonder if Miss Martian really needs the extra warmth or if she just likes playing around with different looks.
• The shots of the League members working with their protégé’s
• Batman outwardly frustrated with Wally for mentioning the Watchtower in front of Zatanna. I had forgotten that she didn’t know about it and it’s clear she’s not in that “need to know” group yet.
• Artemis gleefully cluing Wally in on M’gann and Conner’s relationship, and the love birds seemingly oblivious to the fact that their relationship is no longer a secret – to anyone.
• Once again, the moment when Wally is told that the girl died twelve minutes before he got there was heartbreaking. Really brave stuff there to even briefly suggest that the hero didn’t make it in time.
• The inclusion of Vertigo’s diplomatic immunity and Wally’s plan to get around it were interesting, but it makes me wonder why the Queen couldn’t just take away his immunity anyway. She’s the Queen. If you can’t remove diplomatic immunity then you’re just a figurehead and not worth killing anyway.